First recruits on fast-track detective programme join Sussex Police

Sussex Police welcomed the first trainees on its new fast-track detective development programme this week.

Oct 1, 2020
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Jo Shiner and police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne welcome the new detective constable and police constable recruits to Sussex Police.

The 19 new officers are among the first nationally to undertake the intensive two-year Detective Constable Degree-Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), which offers specialist training in investigations.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said the need for investigative roles was “greater and more important than it’s ever been” as crime and technology evolves.

The new recruits were joined by 28 officers commencing the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship this week as they were welcomed to the force by Ms Shiner and Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne.

Ms Shiner said: “It was a pleasure to welcome these 47 new officers to the force and I am proud that Sussex Police – through collaboration with the University of Cumbria – is one of the first forces in the country to launch the new fast-track Detective Constable DHEP programme.

“Both this and our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship offer new entry routes as officers, making a policing career more accessible for more people, ensuring we create a diverse workforce with the best range of skills, aptitudes and experience we need for 21st century policing.”

She added: “As crime and technology evolves, our need for investigative roles is greater and more important than it’s ever been, from tackling cybercrime and catching online sex offenders to disrupting serious organised crime and safeguarding vulnerable adults and children.

“As a result we’re investing in the recruitment and development of both detectives and investigators.

“We are taking significant steps internally to develop police officers and police staff into these roles; while this additional new fast-track programme for degree-holders will help us accelerate the development of the specialist trained officers we need to identify and pursue criminals using cutting edge technology as well as traditional skills.”

Ms Shiner said all 47 officers would be joining frontline response teams in December to “develop the essential core skills of policing”.

All the recruits, who are funded by the both the Government’s national recruitment campaign and the local policing precept, will work alongside each other for the first 30 weeks. The trainee detectives will then specialise in investigations, working towards a Diploma in Professional Policing Practice and accreditation as a detective constable over the course of two years.

They will then join investigation teams or safeguarding units across Sussex.

Ms Bourne said: “I’m delighted that Sussex Police is leading the way in forward-thinking recruitment – being one of the first forces to offer these new entry routes is a huge achievement.

“Chief Constable Shiner is preparing Sussex Police to take on any challenge within the ever-changing landscape of 21st century policing. Our new police constable recruits will work alongside the fast-tracked detectives, who will be rigorously trained for specialist investigative roles that will enable them to successfully address the toughest criminals.”

Sussex Police is one of three police forces introducing the new DC DHEP programme in recent weeks.

The programme blends practice and theory with real world experience in the workplace and learning based on the national curriculum, which is assessed by university partners.

Gary Slater, Principal Lecturer for Policing at University of Cumbria, said: “Our experienced police teaching team is delighted to be collaborating with Sussex Police to deliver the new detective DHEP as well as the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship once again

“Together, we and our fellow universities in the Police Education Consortium, will educate more than 1,000 new police recruits in south east England over the next three years, helping to establish consistency in police training nationally and bring policing in line with professions such as nursing and teaching.”

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